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THE T1MURID MONARCHS          221
to the Sultan of Egypt. Uzun Hasan, after the over-
throw of Shah Jahan, defeated his son Hasan Ali, whom
he captured and put to death together with every member
of his family, in revenge for this barbarous insult. As
mentioned above, Abu Said invaded Azerbaijan and was
taken prisoner by Uzun Hasan, who, thanks to this
dazzling success, became the virtual ruler of Persia.
The death of this commanding personality occurred in
1478. He was succeeded by his son Yakub, who was
poisoned after a reign of seven years. The empire was
then broken up by domestic struggles for power, and way
was made for the coming native dynasty of the Safavis.
The Alliance of Uzun Hasan with Venice.A fascinat-
ing study is the part played by the republic of Venice in
Asia not only in trade exploration but also in diplomacy.1
In Chapter LVII. we have seen that the efforts of
Europe to induce the Il-Khans to attack Egypt and to
rescue the Holy Land from the power of the Mamelukes
resulted in little more than an* interesting exchange of
embassies and was entirely barren of actual results.
Some two centuries passed after the interchange of these
embassies, and during that "period not' only had the
Osmanli Turks become the great Moslem power, but by
the capture of Constantinople in A.D. 1453, Christendom
was threatened more seriously than at any previous period.
The event, although it affected Europe deeply, excited no
real enthusiasm ; for, as Aeneas Sylvius (who is quoted
by Gibbon) wrote, <c Christendom is a body without a
head ; a republic without laws or magistrates. The pope
and the emperor may shine as lofty titles, as splendid
images. . . . Every state has a separate prince, and every
prince a separate interest."
At this juncture, or a little later, Venice stepped into
the breach and attempted, though with little success, to
unite the powers of Christendom. Not content with this,
she sought an ally in Asia, and decided to send an
embassy to Uzun Hasan, who was married to a daughter
of Calo Johannes, one of the last Emperors of Trebizond.
Another daughter of the same emperor had married
1 Vide Travels of Venetians In Persia, edited by the Hakluyt Society.